Walking and cycling are great for exercise and make for a more cost-effective commute. However, sharing the road with motorists can be risky.
No matter how you travel, you should be aware of some key statistics about pedestrian and bicycle accidents in Louisiana.
Louisiana is a dangerous state for cyclists
U.S. News reported in 2021 that Louisiana has the third-highest rate of bicycle accident deaths per capita. Factors that contribute to this statistic include:
- The number of cyclists on the road
- Inattentive and aggressive drivers
- Disconnected cycle lanes
- Absence of cycle lanes in rural areas
As a cyclist, you can reduce your risk by wearing the proper safety equipment and ensuring that your bike has mirrors and reflectors. As a driver, you should avoid distractions and respect cyclists’ space.
Nighttime is most dangerous for pedestrians
Many accidents involving pedestrians and cars occur because the driver does not see the pedestrian until it is too late. The vast majority of pedestrian fatalities occur between 6 PM and 6 AM, according to data from the LSU Center for Analytics & Research in Transportation Safety.
If you go walking at night, wear reflective gear and carry a flashlight. Avoid distractions, such as using your cell phone, while walking. When crossing the street, use designated crosswalks.
Alcohol is often a factor
The Louisiana Highway Safety Commission reports that nearly a third of pedestrian and bicycle fatalities involve alcohol. Even on a bicycle or on foot, it is important to drink responsibly. Alcohol impairs your ability to react in a dangerous situation. When in doubt, it is safest to have a designated driver or call a taxi.
Accident statistics can be unsettling to read. However, by understanding your risks and responsibilities, you can share the road safely and avoid adding to the statistics.